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Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for dog bite injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by animal attacks.

Archive for the ‘Deaths as Result of Dog Attack’ Category

In December 2017 Alone, 7 People are Killed by Dogs in the U.S.

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

An American Pit Bull Terrier muzzled. Español:...

An American Pit Bull Terrier muzzled. Español: Un Pit Bull Terrier Americano con bozal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dog attacks are a real threat and yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t even track dog deaths anymore. DogsBite.org is a website that tracks fatal dog attacks and highlights obvious dangers, one of which is the pit bull breed. In December 2017 alone, seven people in the U.S. were killed by dogs. In addition, throughout the year, there were at least 29 fatal pit bull attacks. Clearly, man’s best friend can and does kill people. About half the time, on average, fatal dog attack victims are the owners of the attacking dogs.

The following are some basic details about the seven dog attack fatalities that occurred in December 2017:

On December 1, Korbin Williams, age 8, of Gaffney, South Carolina, was killed by three mixed-breed dogs as he was walking with a friend near a local school. The other child was bitten on the leg and was able to escape and run for help. Korbin had multiple bites all over his body, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The dogs belonged to a neighbor and attacked the boys after crawling underneath their fence and escaping their yard. No criminal charges are anticipated.

On December 7, 24-year-old Emily Colvin of Section, Alabama, was savagely attacked and killed by a pack of five pit bulls that belonged to a neighbor. A relative who tried to rescue her was also attacked. By the time local sheriff’s deputies arrived at about 9 am, Emily was already dead. It was described as a horrific scene. A criminal charge of negligent homicide against the dogs’ owners is expected.

On December 11, 77-year-old Dorothy Ford of Alsip, Illinois, was killed at her home by a six-year-old family pit bull. She was discovered dead on her backyard deck. Police officers also described this scene as horrific. This was the family dog since a puppy, and there will be no criminal charges.

See more details about December dog attack fatalities in the second part of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor

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A 22-year-old Woman in Virginia is Horrifically Killed by her Two Pet Pit Bulls

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

Pit bull (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

Bethany Lynn Stephens, age 22, was found dead in a horrific scene at about 8:15 p.m. Thursday, December 14, 2017, in a wooded area near her father’s home in Goochland County, Virginia. She had gone on a walk with her two pit bulls the day before and hadn’t returned. The dogs were with Stephens’ body and exhibited behaviors that have sent shockwaves across the world. Investigators have verified that the pit bulls were unquestionably responsible for her death. Sheriff Jim Agnew had permission from Stephens’ family; and he released graphic photos of the gruesome scene where Stephen’s body was found, which was unprecedented.

Members of the community suggested foul play in Stephens’ death, including the claim that there had been death threats against her. Although investigators say they are looking into those threats, there has been allegedly conclusive evidence that the dogs caused her death.

Stephens’ clothes had been shredded from her body, and the only article of clothing remaining was one boot. She had extensive wounds on her chest, face, and arms. The bites were found to be consistent with dog bites, not a larger animal.

Stephens had raised the dogs from the time they were puppies. They were littermates. Although she had shown a great deal of affection for the dogs and had raised them to live inside the home with her, in recent times, the dogs were caged outside on her father’s property. The dogs were euthanized on December 16.

The nature of this fatal pit bull attack is sensational, and it has garnered a great deal of attention from pit bull advocates who insist that the dogs were not to blame and the breed is no inherent threat.

Statistics tell a different story. Pit bulls are responsible for the clear majority of all fatal dog attacks every year, and no other breed comes anywhere close to being as deadly. This year alone, pit bulls have killed 28 people.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Pit Bulls Kill 1 Person in Illinois and 2 in Alabama within 13 Days

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Daddy

Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On December 11, 2017, a 77-year-old woman from Illinois became the third person within a two-week period in the U.S. to be killed by pit bulls. Dorothy Ford of Alsip, Illinois, was savagely attacked by her own dog in her backyard. A man who had been taking his own dog for a walk saw the horrific scene and called 9-1-1. When police arrived, the dog was behaving aggressively. An officer shot and killed the dog. They attempted to render aid to Ms. Ford, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. The pit bull had been the family pet for six years. Alsip Police Department Deputy Chief Shawn Schuldt expressed the difficulty of witnessing the tragic scene, along with condolences to the family. He stressed that the pit bull was obviously well cared for and well fed, to offset claims by pit bull advocates that when the breed attacks, it’s because of mistreatment of some kind.

Twenty-four-year-old Emily Mae Colvin of Jackson County, Alabama, was killed by a pack of pit bulls belonging to a neighbor on the morning of December 7. When the five dogs began attacking Ms. Colvin, she was on the phone with a friend. Her friend went to her aid and was also viciously attacked. The friend survived and was transported to a hospital with arm and leg injuries. When deputies with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office arrived, Ms. Colvin was found dead at the scene. According to Jackson County authorities, criminal charges can be expected against the owner of the pit bulls, possibly negligent homicide, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

On Wednesday, November 28, 46-year-old Tracy Lynn Cornelius of Marshall County, Alabama, was killed by a pack of dogs, and one was a pit bull mix. Ms. Cornelius had been in a relative’s yard when the fatal pit bull attack occurred. Valeria Hinojosa was the first person attacked, and she suffered severe injuries. Ms. Cornelius was killed trying to save Ms. Hinojosa, who was transported to a hospital in Huntsville. As yet, no charges have been filed against the dogs’ owner. The pit bull involved in the deadly attack reportedly roamed the area for several hours and was later shot and killed by authorities.

–Guest Contributor

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A Man in Philadelphia Dies on Thanksgiving Day after being Attacked by Four Pit Bulls

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

Pit bull (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

At about 9 pm on Thanksgiving Day 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an unidentified man died after being viciously attacked by four pit bulls. The attack occurred in the backyard of the dog owner’s home. A neighbor said that shortly before the attack, she had given the man a plate of food. According to Police Chief Inspector Scott Small, the victim knew the dogs’ owner, but they were not sure why the man was in the yard. The officer said the dog attack victim was covered in mud and dirt. The pit bulls were actively attacking the man when police arrived. Police allegedly shot and killed one of the dogs. The man suffered critical injuries in the attack and was transported to Temple University Hospital. At 10:18 pm, he was pronounced dead. Although a cause of death has yet to be officially determined, police said they believe a medical condition was a contributing factor in the man’s death.

Not counting this fatal attack, at least 21 people in the U.S. have been killed by pit bulls this year. One of those attacks occurred in El Paso, Texas. Jacob Brooks, age 4, was left unattended in an enclosed trampoline and was killed by five family dogs that were running loose in the backyard, one of which was a pit bull mix. A neighbor described the attack in horrific terms. Jacob was already dead when first responders arrived on the scene. On the same day, all of the dogs involved were euthanized.

The child’s parents were charged with felony injury to a child.

Every year, 60% or more of all fatal U.S. dog attacks are caused by pit bulls or pit bull mixes. Not even the dog that causes the second-most fatalities, usually the Rottweiler, comes anywhere close to causing the number of fatalities that pit bulls do. For instance, in 2016, pit bulls contributed to the deaths of 22 people and Rottweilers killed 2. The combined total of the two breeds consisted of 77% of all recorded dog-related deaths last year, and dogs of all other breeds combined contributed to the remaining 7 dog attack fatalities.

–Guest Contributor

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Two People were Killed by Family Dogs within a 24-hour-period in the U.S.

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

German shepherd (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

A newborn baby girl and an elderly man are the two latest victims of fatal dog attacks in the U.S. Two-week-old Sophia Booth of Cleveland, Ohio, died on November 3, 2017, after being bitten in the head by the family dog, a German shepherd. The next day, 65-year-old David Baber of Hamlet, North Carolina, died after being viciously attacked by his own pit bull and mixed breed dog.

According to authorities, baby girl Booth was in a bedroom in the first floor of her home when the family’s 4-year-old German shepherd escaped the kitchen area, where he was fenced, and bit the newborn on the head. She was quickly transported to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead about two hours later. The cause of death was described as head trauma. According to neighbors, the German shepherd was a constant threat, in attack mode at all times. A front window of the home had a sign that said “Warning! Security Dog.” The dog was taken into custody by authorities. No criminal charges are expected. The case has yet to be presented to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office, however.

Investigators report that Baber had been trying to break up a dog fight when the pit bull and mixed breed dog began relentlessly attacking him. A neighbor boy, age 9, was a witness to the attack. He tried to help Baber by throwing bricks at the dogs, but it didn’t have any effect. The boy said Baber was bitten in the neck and was being bitten continuously. He had been in Baber’s yard but got back into his own yard without being harmed. The Police Chief, Scott Waters, said the 9-year-old was a hero; and he expressed relief that the dogs didn’t also attack the brave boy.

–Guest Contributor

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A 7-year-old Boy is Savagely Mauled to Death by Pit Bulls in Front of a Helpless Crowd

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Pit bull (Photo labeled for reuse)

On Saturday, October 21, 2017, 7-year-old Javian Candolario was killed by two pit bulls belonging to neighbors in Lowell, Massachusetts, as about 15 people looked on helplessly. The details of how the attack began are in question but, according to a city councilor, Rodney Elliott, the child went to pat the dogs, who were behind a fence about 4.5’ tall that was described as dilapidated. Several witnesses say one of the dogs grabbed the boy and pulled him over the fence. The pit bull mauled the child aggressively in a horrific scene. Five police officers who arrived after the child had already died have said that they are undergoing counseling, due to the trauma caused by witnessing the scene.

The child’s mother and a sibling were among those who witnessed the fatal pit bull attack. Onlookers were shocked and screaming; but no one knew what to do, witnesses said.

Police fired shots at one of the dogs because it was showing aggression. The dog presumably jumped over the fence after being shot and was later killed in police gunfire about a mile away. The other pit bull was taken into custody by animal control.

In 2011, a pit bull ordinance sponsored by Elliott was enacted in the city, and it placed restrictions on pit bull ownership. One year later, however, the law was nullified because the state’s legislators enacted a new state preemption law, which prevents towns and cities from adopting breed-specific legislation. Javian was the 19th person in 2017 alone to be killed in the U.S. by a pit bill.

–Guest Contributor

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In September 2017 Alone, 3 People in the U.S. are Fatally Attacked by Pit Bulls

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

American pit bull (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

A 1-month-old, a 61-year-old, and a 62-year-old were all attacked and killed by pit bulls in September 2017. The total for the year is 18. Every year, pit bulls are the breed responsible for the majority of deadly dog attacks that occur in the U.S. In spite of mounting evidence that this breed is different from all other canines, pit bull advocates continue to claim that all blame lies with owners while fighting against any proposed pit bull bans that may receive legislative attention.

On September 9, 62-year-old Connie Storey of Philadelphia, Mississippi, was in her yard when her son’s male pit bull viciously mauled her. Her son found her outside at about 1:30 a.m., and he called emergency services. According to Tommy Waddell, Neshoba County Sheriff, Storey managed to explain that she was feeding the dog when the attack occurred. An ambulance transported her for further transport via emergency helicopter. She was airlifted to a nearby hospital. On September 20, she died of injuries sustained in the pit bull attack. A family member made a public statement that the family does not place blame on the breed. No criminal charges have been filed in this case.

One-month-old Barrett Hagans was staying at his father’s home for the first time in Pike Township, Ohio. While he slept in his bassinet, a male family pit bull brutally mauled him. When the father woke the next morning on September 20, 2017, he discovered that the newborn had been mauled and suffered extensive head trauma. At about 6:10 a.m., deputies were dispatched to their home. The infant was pronounced dead at the scene. Two pit bulls were removed from the residence by the Knox County Dog Warden’s Office, and both were euthanized. No criminal charges were filed against the father in connection with the fatal pit bill attack.

Kathy Nichelson, age 61, of Cherry Log, Georgia, when to someone’s home to visit them and was attacked by the homeowner’s pit bull as she was getting out of her vehicle. A person who was passing by tried to help her, when he saw that she had been severely injured and was on the ground. Suddenly, the dog made a reappearance and bit the man on the face. He managed to escape by climbing over a vehicle to get back to his van. He called 9-1-1, and deputies stood watch at the scene, as emergency responders rendered medical aid. The pit bull suddenly charged out from under the porch, and a deputy shot and killed the dog. Nichelson was pronounced dead at the scene. The pit bull owner was arrested and has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Parents of 4-year-old Killed by Family Dogs in El Paso, Texas, are Arrested on a an Alleged Felony Charge

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Pit bull (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

Two women were arrested on Friday, September 29, 2017, on charges related to the fatal dog mauling of their son, 4-year-old Jacob Brooks, on July 27, 2017. According to officers with the El Paso Police Department in El Paso, Texas, the child was mauled to death by family dogs. The women have each been charged with injury to a child by omission, which is a second-degree felony.

An investigation into Jacob’s death began when police officers were called to the home where he lived on July 27. Reportedly, the boy was left alone in an enclosed trampoline in the backyard, which is where four of the family’s ten dogs were roaming. Neighbors said that the child was horrifically attacked.

Two neighbors, Sebastian Hernandez and his brother, scaled the backyard fence during the dog attack in an attempt to save Jacob. They reportedly managed to remove one of the dogs and were almost bitten in the process. Jacob was already deceased by the time first responders arrived on the scene.

According to one of the child’s relatives, the dogs had never been aggressive before the deadly dog mauling.

After the attack, six dogs were removed from the home. Four dogs were involved in the fatal incident, including a pit bull mix that had been adopted by the family in February from El Paso Animal Services. The four dogs responsible for the boy’s death were euthanized on the day of the savage attack, according to animal control officials. In a document from animal services, the dogs involved in the fatal dog mauling were allegedly aggressive and starving.

Neighbors claimed that the family’s dogs were known for running loose in the neighborhood and behaving aggressively.

Both of the women arrested were taken to the El Paso County detention facility, each on $7,500 bonds. One of the women has bonded out and the other is still behind bars.

–Guest Contributor

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An Elderly Woman in Fountain, Florida, is Killed by a Family Pit Bull

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Pitbullmacho

Pit bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seventy-six-year-old Alicia Malagon was helping to care for her daughter and son-in-law’s dog in Fountain, Florida, when she was fatally attacked by the pit bull she was temporarily caring for. On August 26, 2017, Malagon went to the family members’ home in the role as dog-sitter. She brought her small dachshund along with her. Once they got inside the home, the pit bull attacked the dachshund. When Malagon tried to intervene, the pit bull turned his attentions on her. She was viciously attacked and managed to make her way to a phone and call her son-in-law. Another family member went to the home and found her on the kitchen floor, barely conscious. Malagon was quickly transported to Calhoun-Liberty Hospital and pronounced dead soon thereafter.

Reportedly, when Malagon contacted her son-in-law, she said that she had been attacked but would be fine. He sent his brother to check on her, and he had to break down the door to get in.

According to records kept on FatalPitBullAttacks.com, Malagon is the 15th person in 2017 to be killed by a pit bull. This is the deadliest dog breed. Research indicates year after year that pit bulls cause the most fatal dog attacks in the U.S., causing more than all other breeds combined. Various cities and communities have banned pit bulls, but it is a difficult feat to achieve. In spite of the clear record of deadly violence, pit bull advocates band together and have proven to have a lot of influence over local proceedings at city council meetings, wherever pit bull bans are proposed.

–Guest Contributor

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An Infant is Killed by the Family Dog in Houston, Texas, the Third Dog-Related Death in the State in 2017

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Pit bull (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

At about 3:10 pm on August 19, 2017, officers with the Houston Police Department (HPD) responded to a home on Nelwyn Street in north Houston, Texas, regarding the mauling of an infant by a family dog. They found that 2-month-old Michael Obergas had been mauled primarily in the torso area. He was transported by ambulance to the Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital and pronounced dead upon his arrival. An investigation was done by the homicide division of HPD, and it was determined that no charges will be filed against the baby’s parents. Obergas is the third person in Texas to be killed in a dog attack in 2017.

Police could not determine whether the male giant schnauzer or the Labrador was responsible for the fatal dog attack. For that reason, both of the family dogs were euthanized.

Parents told police that the parents stepped out of the room the baby was in. While they were away, one of the dogs managed to open the door and attacked the infant.

On January 17 of this year, 2-month-old Skylar Julius was killed by the family dog, a male German shepherd, in San Marcos, Texas. The family had owned the 8-year-old pet since it was a puppy, and it did not have a history of being aggressive. Possible criminal charges are pending in the case, presumably against the father, who would not consent to being tested for drugs or alcohol. He had been responsible for the baby at the time of the fatal dog attack.

On July 21, 2017, 4-year-old Jacob Brooks was killed by a pack of family dogs in El Paso, Texas. Four dogs were seized at the scene of the attack. They were described as a pit bull and three shepherd-mixes. Possible criminal charges are pending presumably against the mother.

–Guest Contributor

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